Sunday, July 22, 2018

Evil rears it's ugly head, but there are no restricitve alignments. [BFRPG]

One appeal for BFRPG is the absence of an alignment system. Now don't get me wrong here I personally have no issue at all with alignments being present in an RPG campaign I even think it shoudl have a bigger presence when within the rules. BFRPG having no alignment rules is an advantage as it relieves new and very casual players of picky rules interactions and feeling shackled by the game authors or ref's views of good and evil. BFRPG is a system without good and evil however there are a number of mentions of both within the rules.

In the class description for clerics  one can see this:
 Most Clerics spend their time in mundane forms of service such as preaching and ministering in a temple; but there are those who are called to go abroad from the temple and serve their deity in a more direct way, smiting undead monsters and aiding in the battle against evil and chaos. Player character Clerics are assumed to be among the latter group.

So Clerics are assumed to be the good guys at least in the battle versus evil and chaos.  By extension their buddies (the other adventurers) are also the good guys. Being one the good guys is an easy enough concept for most players to comprehend and deal with. Good guys are heroes that don't support destruction of life and civilization. So just what is the nature of this evil and chaos the good guys are going to battle (or serve as a foil for the more picaresque adventurers)?

Evil, at least the evil the game rules interact with is a dangerous and destructive force. Most interactions with evil are against supernatural forces. Look into the spell descriptions and one will see several spells that most certainly interact with "Evil".

page 19: (in Conjure Elemental spell description)
dispel evil will banish the elemental

Conjured elementals are a supernatural interference on the mortal world, they are antithetical to the natural order and as such a sure cure to remove the entities is the Dispel Evil spell.

page 20: (Detect Evil spell description)
This spell allows the caster to detect evil; specifically, the caster can detect creatures with evil intentions, magic items with evil enchantments, and possibly extraplanar creatures of evil nature. Normal characters, even “bad” characters, cannot be detected by this spell, as only overwhelming evil is detectable.

Here again the Evil the rules interact with is mostly the seriously off-base supernatural stuff. I have a bone to pick with "evil intentions" when compared to the remainder of options here it is out of places as "evil intentions" are not supernatural and diabolical evil; unless of course it is meant to indicate the evil intentions of those working with supernatural and diabolical forces. This spell shouldn't be used as a "get out of needing to reason card" for players as the NPCs that are truly wickedly evil by intention should be relatively rare.

page 24: (Invisible Stalker spell description)
The spell persists until dispel evil is cast on the creature

As with conjured elementals Invisible Stalkers are an intrusion on the natural order of things and are considered "evil" (or perhaps chaotic) in how magic interacts with them.

Page 25: (Magic Jar spell Description)
Possession of a creature by means of this spell is blocked by protection from evil or a similar ward.

Here it is implied that dominating others through supernatural means is an evil act. Robbing someone of their identity, their free action, and their very mind itself is a pretty diabolical trick.  Again evil is presented here as a supernatural force against the natural order.

Page 28: (Protection from Evil)
Note that the definition of “evil” is left to the individual GM to decide.

Both a feature and a fault all at once if one doesn't study how evil interacts elsewhere in the rules. Keep evil to being a supernatural intrusion and it isn't too hard to see where this spell would work. while a number of the monsters are described as being evil in nature or behavior they aren't rigidly defined as "EVIL" (or chaotic) as one may see in related games and it actually clears up some confusion for players who wonder why "Protection from Evil" works against Monster X that is called evil in the rules but Monster Y which is also defiend as evil within the rules. Unless ther's not some seriously dire and wicked things going on with a measurable amount of the supernatural its just not the type of evil the spell interacts with.

Yes evil exists in the rules of BFRPG but it is the spine-chilling bwa-haha sort of supernatural evil and players don't have to worry about being penalized by the rules for having their character pocket a few stray silver coins when no one is looking as petty and selfish acts are not the cosmic supernatural evil that the rules interact with. This approach to evil is one I can work with as it doesn't halt play having to explain or debate how alignments interact with each other within the rules.

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